Saturday, September 08, 2007

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST September 08, 2007

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.


Broward Introduction to Florida Red And Blue!!!!

This is your chance to fight the right-wing state-wide anti-gay initiative
to amend the Florida constitution.

Friday, September 28, at the GLCC, Ft. Lauderdale - 11:45am to 1:30pm.

Michael and I have promised to get a minimum of 10 people to attend thislow dollar boxed lunch - only $25 - to learn about Florida Red And Blue andthe multiple efforts to overcome this hateful amendment. Florida Red andBlue has already raised over $1 million, but our work is only beginning.

Will you support us with this? Every GLBT person in Florida needs to be apart of this effort.

Boxed Lunch Series
Friday, September 28
Noon - 1:30pm
Networking 11:45am
GLCC - Ft. Lauderdale

Send us an e-mail and let us know if you'll join us on the 28th.

Ray and Michael


The New York Times

September 7, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

Time to Take a Stand

Here's what will definitely happen when Gen. David Petraeus testifies beforeCongress next week: he'll assert that the surge has reduced violence inIraq - as long as you don't count Sunnis killed by Sunnis, Shiites killed byShiites, Iraqis killed by car bombs and people shot in the front of thehead.

Here's what I'm afraid will happen: Democrats will look at Gen. Petraeus'suniform and medals and fall into their usual cringe. They won't ask hardquestions out of fear that someone might accuse them of attacking themilitary. After the testimony, they'll desperately try to get Republicans toagree to a resolution that politely asks President Bush to maybe, possibly,withdraw some troops, if he feels like it.

There are five things I hope Democrats in Congress will remember.

First, no independent assessment has concluded that violence in Iraq isdown. On the contrary, estimates based on morgue, hospital and policerecords suggest that the daily number of civilian deaths is almost twice itsaverage pace from last year. And a recent assessment by the nonpartisanGovernment Accountability Office found no decline in the average number ofdaily attacks.


Forwarded from Leon Van Dyke

You've got to see this video. It's a great reminder of how just how hard theBush Administration is trying to spin this war.

The escalation has been a failure.

This was one of the bloodiest summers for US troops in Iraq, Iraqicasualties are running at twice the pace of last year and 15 of 18 ofPresident Bush's own benchmarks remain unmet. But the White House is tellingus that black is white, up is down, and things in Iraq are going just great.

We need to pass this video around widely to remind America that the WhiteHouse has a bit of a "credibility gap" when it comes to progress in Iraq.Check it out, then forward it on:



The New York Times

September 8, 2007

Denying Children's Health Care

The Bush administration reached a deplorable, preordained verdict yesterdaywhen it denied New York State permission to expand a valuable healthinsurance program to help cover middle-class children. The administration,which makes no effort to disguise its disdain for government insuranceprograms, imposed new, excessively stringent requirements last month thatnot only guaranteed New York's denial but will make it nearly impossible forany state to expand coverage.

The denial shows the White House at its most ideological and intransigent.Unfortunately, tens of thousands of children in New York - and many morenationally - will end up paying the price.

New York wanted to raise its income threshold for the State Children'sHealth Insurance Program, or S-chip, from the current $51,000 for a familyof four to more than $82,000. There is room to debate whether that level -four times the poverty level - is too high, but the administration is notbasing its rejection on those grounds. Federal officials say they have noauthority to reject a state's plan based on income eligibility alone.

That is apparently why the administration cooked up new requirements thatallow it to block middle-class coverage on other grounds. This is adistressing change for a program that had previously given states greatleeway to devise coverage to fit their own circumstances.


The New York Times

September 8, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

Escape From Las Vegas

Amber is 19 years old and on Sunday she caught a flight out of Las Vegas'sMcCarran International Airport and went home to a small town in Minnesota,not far from the Iowa border.

I'm rooting for her. She's low on funds ("I've got my ticket, that's aboutall," she said), and she's at a crucial turning point in her life.

The question is whether she will go off to college in Florida, and stickwith it, which she insists is what she wants to do, or whether she will slipback into her life as a stripper and lap dancer, which is so often the startof the descent into the hell of prostitution.

"I hate the dancing," she told me. "Sometimes I think I don't have a strongenough mind for it, because of the way people treat me."

I met Amber in Las Vegas last week. I was with Melissa Farley, apsychologist and researcher who was asked by the head of the U.S. StateDepartment's anti-trafficking office to do a study of the sex trade and itsconsequences in Nevada.

(She published the book-length study this week under the title,"Prostitution and Trafficking in Nevada: Making the Connections.")


The New York Times

September 8, 2007
Warming Is Seen as Wiping Out Most Polar Bears


WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 - Two-thirds of the world's polar bears will disappearby 2050, even under moderate projections for shrinking summer sea ice causedby greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, government scientists reported onFriday.

The finding is part of a yearlong review of the effects of climate and icechanges on polar bears to help determine whether they should be protectedunder the Endangered Species Act. Scientists estimate the current polar bearpopulation at 22,000.

The report, which the United States Geological Survey released here, offersstark prospects for polar bears as the world grows warmer.

The scientists concluded that, while the bears were not likely to be drivento extinction, they would be largely relegated to the Arctic archipelago ofCanada and spots off the northern Greenland coast, where summer sea icetends to persist even in warm summers like this one, a shrinking that couldbe enough to reduce the bear population by two-thirds.


The New York Times

September 7, 2007
Virus Is Seen as Suspect in Death of Honeybees


Scientists sifting genetic material from thriving and ailing bee coloniessay a virus appears to be a prime suspect - but is unlikely to be the onlyculprit - in the mass die-offs of honeybees reported last fall and winter.

The die-offs, in which adult bees typically vanished without returning tohives, were reported by about a fourth of the nation's commercialbeekeepers. The losses captured public attention as rumors swirled aboutcauses, like climate change, cellphone signals and genetically-modifiedcrops. Scientists have rejected those theories.

Now, one bee disease, called Israeli acute paralysis virus, seems stronglyassociated with the beekeeping operations that experienced big losses, alarge research group has concluded, although members of the team emphasizedthat they had not proved the virus caused the die-offs.

"I hope no one goes away with the idea that we've actually solved the
problem," said Jeffrey S. Pettis, an entomologist with the Department ofAgriculture and co-director of a national group working on the puzzle, whichhas been given the name colony collapse disorder.

It was a coincidence, but a fortunate one, that a man who trained as anastronomer, who earned a PhD from Harvard before he was fired by thegovernment in 1957 for being gay, was honored amid rockets and planes anddepictions of the solar system.

"At the time I was fired, the whole space program was just beginning," saysKameny. He might have volunteered as an astronaut, he says. "I might havegone to the moon."


The Washington Post

Why We Should Exit Iraq Now

By Bill Richardson
Saturday, September 8, 2007; A15

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards have suggested that there islittle difference among us on Iraq. This is not true: I am the only leadingDemocratic candidate committed to getting all our troops out and doing soquickly.

In the most recent debate, I asked the other candidates how many troops theywould leave in Iraq and for what purposes. I got no answers. The Americanpeople need answers. If we elect a president who thinks that troops shouldstay in Iraq for years, they will stay for years -- a tragic mistake.

Clinton, Obama and Edwards reflect the inside-the-Beltway thinking that acomplete withdrawal of all American forces somehow would be "irresponsible."On the contrary, the facts suggest that a rapid, complete withdrawal -- nota drawn-out, Vietnam-like process -- would be the most responsible andeffective course of action.

Those who think we need to keep troops in Iraq misunderstand the MiddleEast. I have met and negotiated successfully with many regional leaders,including Saddam Hussein. I am convinced that only a complete withdrawal cansufficiently shift the politics of Iraq and its neighbors to break thedeadlock that has been killing so many people for so long.


The Washington Post

A Damaging Paper Chase In Voting

By Timothy J. Ryan
Saturday, September 8, 2007; A15

When early jet aircraft crashed, Congress did not mandate that all planesremain propeller-driven. But this is the kind of reactionary thinking behindtwo bills that would require that all voting machines used in federalelections produce a voter-verifiable paper record. These bills -- the BallotIntegrity Act (S. 1487), and the Voter Confidence and IncreasedAccessibility Act (H.R. 811) -- are understandable backlashes to the myriadproblems encountered in the implementation of electronic voting.

Paperless Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) machines, those where votes areentered into computers and stored only in computer memory banks, haveencountered numerous failures and no longer inspire public trust. Theresponse proposed in these Senate and House bills is for all such machinesto produce paper receipts that voters can examine to ensure that their voteswere correctly cast. The goal -- a double-check of the machine tally -- isworthy. Unfortunately, paper records are no panacea for the shortcomings ofmachines, and mandating paper removes the incentive for researchers todevelop better electronic alternatives.

For proponents, the rationale for paper verification is simple: Voters haveno way of knowing that a machine faithfully records their votes in itsmemory banks. If a machine were compromised by a hacker, for instance, itsscreen could be made to confirm the voter's intention to vote for "GeorgeWashington" while actually registering a vote for "Benedict Arnold." Assuch, machines must be made to produce paper records that voters can examineand election officials can retain.


The Washington Post

National Security Bubble
How the Bush administration's attempt to protect the country went awry

Saturday, September 8, 2007; A14

THE GOAL OF the Bush administration after Sept. 11, 2001, was simple andclear: Protect the country from another devastating attack. But in its questto counter unprecedented threats, the White House deliberately avoidedseeking the advice of Congress -- and even that of some of its own topofficials -- for fear of encountering opposition to novel or aggressivetactics. This go-it-alone approach led to the proliferation of dubious legaltheories that authorized activities such as the warrantless surveillance ofU.S. citizens and the torture of suspected terrorists. Perhaps the mostinfuriating aspect of the strategy was that it was largely unnecessary andultimately counterproductive.

The existence of the so-called torture memo and the warrantless surveillanceprogram have been known for some time. But a forthcoming book, "The TerrorPresidency," by former Justice Department official Jack L. Goldsmithprovides an insider's account of the pressures and priorities that led tosuch programs. It also illuminates the dangers of making decisions in abubble, even when -- perhaps especially when -- the goals are so clearlyvalid.


The Washington Post

Ohio Congressman's Death In Arlington Ruled Accidental
From Staff Reports and News Services

Saturday, September 8, 2007; Page A04

Rep. Paul E. Gillmor (R-Ohio) died of blunt head and neck trauma, injuriesconsistent with a fall down stairs, the Virginia medical examiner's officeconcluded in ruling his death an accident.

Gillmor was found dead Wednesday in his Arlington County townhouse after hedid not show up at the Capitol for morning meetings. Aides found his body atthe base of stairs leading to the second floor.

Police found no evidence of foul play, said Lucy Caldwell, a spokeswomanfor the Virginia Department of Health, which includes the medical examiner'soffice. An autopsy was performed, but chemical and ancillary tests have notyet been completed, Caldwell added.


The Washington Post

Rumsfeld Headed to Hoover Institution

The Associated Press
Saturday, September 8, 2007; 1:52 AM

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Donald H. Rumsfeld, the former U.S. secretary ofdefense who resigned under fire after directing the wars in Iraq andAfghanistan, will be a visiting fellow at Stanford University's HooverInstitution, the research center announced.

Rumsfeld will serve on a task force of scholars and experts who will focuson issues pertaining to "ideology and terror," the conservative think tankannounced Friday in a press release.


Houston Chronicle

Sept. 7, 2007, 10:24PM
Student loan bill goes to president

Legislation calls for boost in aid and cut in subsidies
Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Congress sent President Bush legislation Friday to boostfinancial aid for college students by cutting some $20 billion in governmentsubsidies to banks that make student loans.

Bush has indicated he will sign the legislation, despite previous objectionsto parts of the bill. Specifically, the administration has criticized astudent loan interest-rate cut and a new loan-forgiveness program, amongother things.

House Democrats had made the popular interest-rate cut a priority during therun-up to the last election.

The House voted 292-97 for the student aid bill Friday. Earlier in the day,the Senate approved the measure 79-12.

The boost in financial aid to college students was one of half a dozendomestic priorities Democrats set when they took control of Congress thisyear. Two others - an increase in the minimum wage and mandatory air and seacargo inspections - already have become law, and a third, ethics reform, isawaiting Bush's signature.


The Washington Post

Unions Press Clinton on Outsourcing Of U.S. Jobs

By John Solomon and Matthew Mosk
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, September 8, 2007; A01

When Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton flew to New Delhi to meet with Indianbusiness leaders in 2005, she offered a blunt assessment of the loss ofAmerican jobs across the Pacific. "There is no way to legislate againstreality," she declared. "Outsourcing will continue. . . . We are not againstall outsourcing; we are not in favor of putting up fences."

Two years later, as a Democratic presidential hopeful, Clinton struck adifferent tone when she told students in New Hampshire that she hated"seeing U.S. telemarketing jobs done in remote locations far, far from ourshores."

The two speeches delivered continents apart highlight the delicate balancethe senator from New York, a dedicated free-trader, is seeking to maintainas she courts two competing constituencies: wealthy Indian immigrants whohave pledged to donate and raise as much as $5 million for her 2008 campaignand powerful American labor unions that are crucial to any Democraticprimary victory.


Bush has bad day at Sydney Opera House

By TOM RAUM, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 35 minutes ago

SYDNEY, Australia - President Bush had a terrible, horrible, no good, verybad day at the Sydney Opera House.

He'd only reached the third sentence of Friday's speech to business leaders,on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, when hecommitted his first gaffe.

"Thank you for being such a fine host for the OPEC summit," Bush said toAustralian Prime Minister John Howard.

Oops. That would be APEC, the annual meeting of leaders from 21 Pacific Rimnations, not OPEC, the cartel of 12 major oil producers.

Bush quickly corrected himself. "APEC summit," he said forcefully, jokingthat Howard had invited him to the OPEC summit next year (for the record, animpossibility, since neither Australia nor the U.S. are OPEC members).

The president's next goof went uncorrected - by him anyway. Talking aboutHoward's visit to Iraq last year to thank his country's soldiers servingthere, Bush called them "Austrian troops."

That one was fixed for him. Though tapes of the speech clearly show Bushsaying "Austrian," the official text released by the White House switched itto "Australian."

Then, speech done, Bush confidently headed out - the wrong way.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

The Chronicle of Higher Education

A Quiz for Constitution Day


This is our second annual Constitution Day quiz. Constitution Day isSeptember 17th. Federal law now requires that educational institutions thatreceive federal funds hold an "educational program" on the Constitution.Give this handy quiz to everyone on your campus - students, professors,administrators, staff, even members of the hockey team - and happily avoidthe suspension of millions of dollars of federal research money.

1. In the Military Commissions Act of 2006, Congress suspended the writ ofhabeas corpus for alien enemy combatants detained at Guantánamo Bay. TheConstitution, however, stipulates that Congress can suspend the writ only"in cases of rebellion or invasion." We can therefore conclude:

1.. We have been invaded.

2.. We are in the midst of a rebellion (against the government, notagainst the Constitution itself).

3.. The Military Commissions Act is unconstitutional.

4.. The Constitution does not protect evil suspects.

5.. The founding fathers intended to make an exception for Gitmo.



[Send your comments about articles to]

No comments: